The Samsung Galaxy A70 is average for a mid-range performer but adds value to the package due to its design, Samsung Pay, a thoroughly polished OneUI and reliable battery life. Where it falters dearly is in the camera department and that infuriatingly slow fingerprint scanner.
The Mighty Pitfall: Fingerprint Scanner
The Samsung Galaxy A70 uses an optical under-display fingerprint sensor as its primary unlocking method and I have to say, after using the S10+, this was a very sore point for me. The fingerprint sensor here is not only painfully slow, even in comparison to other optics-based solution, but also had too many false rejections. Typically, the sensor would take a good 1-2 seconds to unlock (when it did), but in most cases, it would just not recognize the fingerprint sensor. Thankfully, the fingerprint sensor’s performance is something that can be improved through software updates (to some extent) and we can only hope that Samsung will address this issue with the utmost urgency.
The Star Feature: Samsung Pay
One of the biggest value additions to the Samsung Galaxy A70 is the inclusion of Samsung Pay. We’re not talking about the crippled version seen on the entry-level Samsung devices, but the full-blown, MST enabled version. This is the same Samsung Pay we have seen on Samsung’s flagship devices. Samsung Pay has been one of the most compelling reasons for me using a Samsung smartphone for many years now, with the convenience of Samsung Pay being unmatched when it comes to smartphone-based payments in India. Samsung Pay works just as advertised and we hope that Samsung would bring this feature to more devices in the mid-range segment in the near future.
Software and UI
Given that the Samsung Galaxy A70 runs on OneUI, it comes with the newest version of Android (Pie) and is updated to the latest security patch. You also get a far more refined user experience with many elements of Samsung’s operating system being cleaned up. The new UI is neat and snappy, although just not as fluid as OnePlus’s OxygenOS or Google’s own stock Android.
OneUI offers a number of familiar and new features, including a dark mode, the ability to apply themes from Samsung’s own theme store and even a device-care feature which is designed to optimize performance and battery life. The bloatware on the A70 is also fairly reduced, as users will be prompted to choose the Samsung apps they want to install while setting up the phone. There will still be some Samsung apps that are pre-installed which cannot be removed, like the messaging app, although you can switch over to Google’s version without any glitches.
The software on the Samsung Galaxy A70 is pretty much the same as what you get on the flagship smartphones from the company, once again, bringing a premium experience to the mid-range segment.
The Samsung Galaxy A70 is a mid-range phone with a few flagship features thrown in. With the A70, you’re paying for the mid-range performance, but the extra is for the extra long battery life, the stylish build and of course, Samsung Pay. On the whole, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 ends up slightly ahead of the Redmi Note 7 Pro for its display, battery life (charging speed+SoT) and the OS experience, which nudges the overall Performance score of the A70 ahead of the Redmi Note 7's. If we look at just the CPU, GPU and Camera performance, the Redmi Note 7 is ahead by a solid 8 points. If you’re looking for a wholesome package, then you may want to give the Samsung Galaxy A70 a strong consideration, but if you’re on a tight budget and want just performance and camera chops, you would be happy settling for the Redmi Note 7 Pro.